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Bird's Eye View
AMHO's Monthly Newsletter - September 2017
Fall greetings from Gail Czukar, AMHO's CEO
Although our newsletter took a break over the summer, our team was busy as ever. With consultations on cannabis legalization, announcements on investments in opioid addiction treatment, and launching our promising practices in supportive housing work - it was an eventful and productive summer.

A big focus for AMHO in the coming months will be our pre-election advocacy, to ensure mental health and addiction is a top election issue for all parties and that access to community services and supports is a priority.

With our team growing to support our work, AMHO has moved to a new office in the same building. You can now find us in Suite 1400, on the 14th floor at 180 Dundas Street West. 

Please save the date of November 6 and 7 for our Annual General Meeting, Community of Practice meetings, and Leadership Forum which will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Downtown Toronto, 108 Chestnut Street, Toronto. I look forward to catching up with you there.

- Gail Czukar
Health and Long-Term Care Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins making the announcement August 29, 2017.
On August 29, 2017, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams announced that the province will be investing more that $222 million over three years to enhance Ontario’s Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose.

$70 million will be directed towards expanding access to treatment and community-based withdrawal management services and addictions programs. This investment will include the expansion of Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinics across the province, counselling and other mental health supports and boosting access to community-based withdrawal management services and addictions programs.

This represents a significant investment in the addiction sector, which has not seen new resources in a very long time. AMHO is pleased to see the government’s comprehensive response to the complexities of the opioid crisis. We have long been advocating that in addition to life saving measures like naloxone, we need to ensure people have access to the range of services, treatment and supports they need to support recovery.

Click here to read more.
On September 8, 2017, Ontario became the first province or territory in Canada to publicly announce its framework to manage the federal legalization of cannabis.

AMHO is pleased to see that the government's framework focuses on public health and reducing the known harms surrounding cannabis, especially for youth.

Our submissions to government recommend that government put health first, and use evidence to address the demonstrated harms associated with cannabis use, including cannabis dependence.

Whether legalization will lead to increased cannabis use or dependence is unclear, and will need to be evaluated. But cannabis is already the presenting drug dependence issue for about one-third of the cases that are reported by Ontario’s specialized addiction treatment services. Ontarians seeking help for substances through publicly-funded programs are looking at wait times of months to years to access treatment.

That’s why AMHO recommends that the government both invest upfront as well as earmark future revenues to be invested in greater capacity for addiction and mental health services, in addition to public education and prevention.

Read more here.
This month, AMHO members and their communities across the province hosted events to celebrate recovery and spread the message that treatment works, prevention is possible, and people recover.

Over 3500 people in 15 communities came together to share stories of addiction recovery, foster hope and break down stigma.

The first annual recovery campaign was hosted in Ontario by members of AMHO’s predecessor organizations, AO and OFCMHAP, in October 2006. Since then, the movement has spread and gained momentum. 

Thank you to all of our members and your community partners for your hard work planning and organizing these events!
Make your Change Day pledge

Change Day Ontario has launched – and it’s already catching fire.

This growing movement supports people with first-hand experience with health systems to create positive change to improve compassionate quality care. It has people across Ontario making pledges, connecting on social media, and sharing their ideas.

For example, individuals at AMHO have pledged to take mental health first aid training.

See for yourself the many pledges that others are making – and share yours before November 17.

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario
Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario (YWHO) is the new entity that has been created to deliver on the government's commitment to support up to nine integrated service hubs for youth. At these hubs, young people between the ages of 12 and 25 will be able to receive walk-in mental health and substance use services, as well as other health, social, and employment supports all under one roof.

A Call for Proposals will soon be released with detailed criteria for agencies and networks wishing to implement a Youth Wellness Hub in their own community. Proposals will be assessed for these criteria as well as community need and readiness for implementation.

Click here for more information.
Home for Good Announcement
On September 11, the Ontario government announced they are partnering with municipalities across the province to provide more supportive housing and other services for those in need, to reduce poverty and end chronic homelessness.

This announcement included the outcomes of the Home for Good program. If you’d like to know whether or not your Service Manager or DSSAB was successful, AMHO encourages you to contact them directly.
Free EQIP Webinars
The Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP) is designed to support Ontario’s addictions and mental health providers to do what they do best – provide quality care and treatment to people who are often at the most vulnerable point in their life.

There are six free EQIP webinars available for viewing at any time, covering topics such as:
  • Supporting a QI culture
  • Using the OCAN for QI
  • QI and the OPOC tool
  • The role of data in QI
Check out the webinars here.
From the CEO

Province investing in addiction treatment

Ontario's cannabis framework

Celebrating recovery

Change day

Youth hubs

Home for good

Free EQIP webinars

Opportunities for Action
AMHO AGM and Community of Practice
  • November 6 and 7, 2017 at the Double Tree by Hilton Downtown Toronto (108 Chestnut Street).
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Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) represents over 220 addictions and mental health organizations in Ontario. As the collective voice of our members, we provide leadership and engage partners to build a comprehensive and accessible system of addictions and mental health care, and improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities in Ontario.
Copyright © 2017 Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, All rights reserved.

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